The incessant shrieking of my husband's alarm clock jolts me awake. He moves quietly in the darkness, careful not to disturb me further.
“Did you make my lunch?”
“I’m sorry, I forgot.”
While he will buy his food today, I will not eat at all. I roll over and pull the covers over my head. He goes to work, thankful to have a job. I go back to sleep, wishing I was dead. When I finally emerge from my cocoon of despondency it is mid-day. The blinding sun hurts my eyes. I glare at the sink full of dirty dishes and force myself not to gag from the stench. The thought of cleaning anything revolts me. Nevertheless, I understand that I have a choice to make. I could fall under the weight of my own oppression or I could rise. Death is always an easier choice but I have never been one to cut corners. If I am to win this battle, I must first get in the ring and choose to fight back. I retreat to the bedroom and dress for war.
I attack the kitchen first, fighting tears with every swipe of my washcloth. Vile, hateful thoughts invade my subconscious. I can already tell it’s going to be a long and bloody battle. I am weary with exhaustion but my new resolve gives me the strength to remain standing. The devil walks in, weapons locked and loaded. I roll my eyes, daring him to strike first. He does not disappoint.
"You’re so worthless. What kind of wife leaves dishes piled up in the sink? Don’t you care about your family at all? They sure don’t give a rip about you." He smirks and folds his arms across his chest, tapping his foot impatiently.
I draw my sword and swing, clipping his right shoulder.
“Jesus said I am worth more than many sparrows! Jesus said I am his friend!”
Satan’s razor-like claws swipe at my stomach, drawing blood. "You’re ugly and good for nothing. You’re absolutely pitiful. Lazy and stupid is what you are." He cackles as my blood spills to the floor.
I strike him across his chest. “Jesus said that I am very precious in the sight of God. My beauty comes from within!” I throw dirty bed sheets in the washing machine and slam the lid. I pivot on my left heel, anticipating his next move.
He attacks from behind this time, slicing open my right shoulder with his sharp tongue. "Your kids don’t even like you. Look at how they treat you. They are nasty from the inside out."
I see this strike before it has a chance to hit me and my shield is ready. “Lies! My children are human beings who make mistakes. They are not perfect but they serve a perfect God!”
I am sobbing now and my wound is festering. Painful images of my childhood swim before my eyes. My arms are heavy but I plug in the vacuum. I gain strength in each deliberate step forward and once again I wait for his next attack.
"Your uncle has cancer. He may not be alive in a few months. If he goes to Hell it will be your fault."
Gasping for breath, I wipe my lips. Kicking his feet out from under him I yell. “Get behind me, Satan! I shared the Gospel the best way I knew how. He alone is responsible for his choices.”
Satan appears shaken but he rises. "If he chooses Hell, it will be your words he did not heed. Don’t you feel like a failure?"
“No! In Christ Jesus I am more than a conqueror!”
Sweat drips down my back and stings my eyes. My arms are weakening and I know time is running out. A force knocks me to my knees as my weapons clatter to the floor. I am pinned beneath the weight of his hatred. His rancid breath whispers a final taunt in my ear. "You don’t deserve to live. Why don’t you just kill yourself?"
With every ounce of strength I have left I reach for my sword and plunge it deep into his exposed abdomen. With a voice of triumph I shout, “Because today I choose life that I may live! In the name of Jesus Christ, I banish you, Satan! Be gone!”
Suddenly the weight is lifted. I slowly rise and admire my surroundings. Smiling, I lunch with my Savior. I am weary but I am victorious.
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